China mulls South China Sea tsunami warning system

Dec 27, 2012- China is leading a plan to set up a system that will provide warnings for tsunamis and other destructive weather in the South China Sea region, an official with the State Oceanic Administration (SOA) said.

Vietnamese Paracel Islands which China had invaded from Republic of Vietnam with a sea battle in 1974

"Tsunamis don't occur frequently, but they always result in significant damage. In the South China Sea, occurrence of earthquakes and tsunamis in the Manila Trench near the Philippines is highly possible," said Zhang Zhanhai, head of the SOA's international cooperation department, at a Thursday press conference.

According to Zhang, China is now capable of sending tsunami warnings to other countries around the South China Sea, adding that these countries have reached a consensus on China leading the construction of the warning system.

The move came after the SOA released an international cooperation framework for the South China Sea and other neighboring sea areas in January this year.

The framework included plans for China to cooperate with neighboring countries to explore and utilize maritime resources, reduce oceanic disasters and develop the maritime economy.

In addition, SOA spokesman Shi Qingfeng mentioned multiple cooperative programs, including a monsoon monitoring project launched in cooperation with Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia, as well as research on the connection between oceanic disasters and climate change.